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Why Do Mastiffs Howl, Whine & Cry So Much? (Answered)

Mastiffs are massive dogs that love to be around their family and owner. They are gentle and always try to protect their loved ones. They are also very low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. If your Mastiff is howling, whining, or crying, let’s find out why they do so! 

Why do mastiffs howl so much?

Dogs howl as a way of interacting or communicating. They could howl to seek attention, show excitement, express sadness, or discomfort. They might also howl when they hear loud noises or high-pitched sounds that they are unfamiliar with. They also howl to communicate with other dogs. 

Do mastiffs howl?

Mastiffs commonly do not howl that much but there are some breeds of Mastiffs that howl more than the rest. When compared to other breeds, they howl very little. 

Tibetan Mastiff:

To know if they howl, you’ll need to know about their history. Ages ago, these Mastiffs were used to guard and alert people in villages from danger. This was their way of keeping away the predators. This is why Tibetan Mastiffs can sometimes be loud. 


Bullmastiffs are known to howl a lot. This is the type of Mastiff that likes to howl! Howling is a way of guarding or alerting their owners from danger. They do not make a lot of noise while howling but it is enough to grab your attention.

English Mastiff:

English Mastiffs do not howl that much and are rather quiet and shy. They are quite polite but can cause a ruckus as a puppy. They might howl to show participation.  

Neapolitan Mastiff:

These bunch can be quite aggressive when they are adults. They are prone to bark and howl as their natural intuition is to guard and protect.   

French Mastiff:

French Mastiffs don’t howl too much. They do make other sounds such as snoring and heavy breathing but they do not tend to howl. 

Italian Mastiff:

Also known as Cane Corsos, these loving creatures enjoy howling. It is because it is in their genes and their breed has similarities to those of wolves. This is why they are often used to guard houses or people.  

Pyrenean Mastiff:

These Mastiffs generally do not howl and are even-tempered around people. They might bark or howl when they see strangers in the night but they usually do not howl without reason. 

Why is my mastiff howling?

Your mastiff can howl for following reasons –

To alert you:

Your Mastiff could be howling to alert you of danger or injury when they are in pain. Many dogs also howl when they hunt prey. 

High pitched noises:

Any environmental setting that is unfamiliar to your Mastiff has the possibility to trigger them. This can lead to uncontrollable howling and whining. Loud noises can be uncomfortable for them. 

Seek attention:

Mastiffs love the attention of their owners and can get pretty upset when you are not paying them enough attention. Howling can be a way for them to grab your attention.    

Signal boundary:

When an outsider dog tries to enter an area that your dog has ‘occupied’, they howl as a defense mechanism. It is their way of showing dominance or indicating their presence. You might notice your Mastiff howling when a stranger comes in front of your door.

Are mastiffs happy when they howl?

Not necessarily. Every dog is different and interacts in various ways. Some dogs do like to howl when they seek your attention or when they are excited. They might also howl to express sadness or dissatisfaction.

They howl or bark when they see a new person entering your home. If they are jumping around and moving a lot, they are likely excited. 

Should you ignore a howling dog?

If your dog howls constantly for attention, it is okay to ignore them. If you ignore them, it

will make them feel that their howls are not helping them get what they want. Once they realize this, they will stop. 

How to stop the mastiff from howling?

You can take following steps to stop your mastiff from howling –

Ignore a certain type of howl:

There are many types of howls and one of those is when your

Mastiff wants attention. If you give in to those howls, they might make it a habit. Ignoring them during this time can make it clear that howling won’t work.  

Reward them when they are quiet or behaving:

Reward them with treats when they are quiet if you can’t stand ignoring them. Reward training is beneficial for all sorts of situations. 

Provide toys as a distraction:

Does your Mastiff have a favorite toy? Keep a basket of toys

nearby so that they can soothe themselves when they are uncomfortable or triggered by sounds. 

Why do mastiffs whine so much?

Mastiffs whine when they are in pain, discomfort, or suffering from anxiety. They could also whine when they seek attention. Mastiffs are not known to whine that much but they could be due to numerous reasons. It is important to find the root of the issue. 

Whining is a way for dogs to express what they need or want. There is no specific reason for whining. Let’s find out the main reasons and what you can do about it!

Pain or Discomfort:

A lot of dogs whine when they are ill or in pain. They are whining to let you know this or to calm themselves. If they are in a situation that is making them uncomfortable, they are likely to whine.


This is the number one reason behind whining. Dogs love to spend time with their owners and can get jealous when they don’t spend time with them. Your Mastiff might whine a lot when you are not paying attention to them or talking over the phone. 


This is also related to them seeking attention. It is their way of burning off the energy. You might notice this when they meet someone new or see a new animal. They could be moving around more than usual at the same time.

Are mastiffs prone to anxiety?

Mastiffs are prone to separation anxiety. Even as large dogs, they love to be around their owner and loved ones. Do not always keep them outdoors or alone at home. If they are kept alone for a long time, it can result in separation anxiety.

Should you ignore a whining dog?

If you think your dog is whining for attention, it is okay to ignore them instead of giving in. Because of this, they will learn that whining will not work to get what they want. This is useful if your dog often whines to get what they want. 

If you give in right away, it will teach them to whine about everything.

How do I stop my mastiff from constantly whining?

You can take following steps to stop your mastiff from constantly whining –

Identify and Medicate:

Taking your Mastiff to a veterinarian can help find the root of the problem. Once identified, your veterinarian could prescribe a drug to reduce this problem if it is caused by pain. 

Change the environment:

Your Mastiff might be whining when they are uncomfortable or are in discomfort. They might be feeling too hot or too cold. Or they might be going through digestive issues and a change of diet can help.  

Separation training:

To prevent your Mastiff from developing separation anxiety, teach them how to be comfortable without their loved ones around. Do this when they are young by spending some time away from your dog now and then.

First, start with only 10  minutes at a time and gradually increase the time to an hour. If you do this often, they won’t feel sad while you’re at work or events. 

Why do mastiffs cry so much?

Mastiffs cry so much as a way of communicating when they are hungry, need attention, or want to play with toys. It does not necessarily mean that they have an illness. Older dogs often cry at night when they suffer from anxiety or dementia. Chronic crying is a sign of separation anxiety. 

Mastiffs are not known to cry as much as other dogs. But if they do, it is simply because of a want or need. Old age-related issues are also one of the reasons why some dogs cry. Some Mastiffs might also suffer from separation anxiety and that could be why they are crying.  

When they want or need something:

Dogs do not tend to cry when they have chronic pain. Crying could mean many things starting from their want for food, potty, water, playtime, or attention. This is their way of communicating.

They might cry at night after everyone’s asleep if they are bored or want to go play outside.

Old age:

As dogs get older, they suffer from many things such as anxiety and dementia. This could lead them to cry more than usual.   

Separation Anxiety:

This is a major condition that should be identified as soon as possible. Dogs, similar to us, hate being separated from the ones they love such as their guardians. To deal with this grief, they might spend an awful time crying. 

Is a dog crying a bad sign?

Many people believe that a dog cries when they can sense that someone is going to pass away. Another assumption is that a dog cries when something bad is going to happen. However, there is no proper evidence to support these claims

Dogs have enhanced sensory abilities when it comes to smell which can make them somewhat more aware of diseases and illnesses before humans can identify it themselves. It is a popular debate and more research needs to be done to find out if they can actually sense danger or not. 

How do I stop my mastiff from constantly crying?

You can take a look at following tips that might help you to stop your mastiff from constantly crying –  

Check with a Veterinarian:

Consulting with a veterinarian is the first thing you should do. They are the expert at figuring out what’s wrong with your Mastiff. This way, you can find out if your dog is crying because of any physical illness. 

Divert your Mastiff’s attention:

When you notice your Mastiff crying, you can try diverting their

attention to something else such as their favorite toy or by taking them outside for a walk. 

Obedience Training:

Most dogs cry when they want attention and instead of giving them what they want all the time, you can try obedience training. 

Final Thoughts:

There’s no need to worry because howling, whining, and crying are just ways your Mastiff chooses to express to you. However, if you feel their behavior is odd or constant, it is best to seek help from a professional. Most of the time, it is not a serious threat to their health.

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